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posted: 1/13/2014 5:00 AM

Candidates can win without vote majorities

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A reader recently wrote about the importance of primaries and why news media should give them more attention. There is a problem with primaries that needs even more attention. Maybe there are exceptions somewhere in our country, but if you have a primary with at least three candidates, someone can win the primary without getting a majority of the vote. This is simply wrong. You then either should have a runoff election, or elections should allow second choices.

This principle also applies in general elections. As our system is currently set up, third party candidates are not encouraged, because they merely split the vote, and then the least favorite candidate actually wins without getting the majority of the votes. The presidential election is different in that the states elect the president rather than individuals, yet at the state level, a person can win the state's electoral votes without getting the majority of the votes in the state. This is also wrong.

Larry Craig


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